Sunday 16 September 2012
Dip in fruit prices
Strawberry growers in southern Queensland are abandoning their fruit as prices dip in an oversupplied market.
Hervey Bay grower Keith Boswell says he's suffering a $50,000 loss this season, and he's urging investors to back off from the industry.
"This is the worst we've ever had in 20-odd years. It was a (bad) start with so much rain early on in the piece and my patch has never recovered," he said.
"It all depends, I mean, whether some of the big growers decide to scale back or not, and we've got Western Australia coming online now. They're producing better and better strawberries."
But multi-variety grower Tina McPherson, from Bundaberg, doesn't paint such a dire picture.
She says six weeks of good conditions in two growing regions, and an oversupply of one variety, have created the glut.
"This last week has been peak of the Festival variety and possibly the Ruby Gem," she said.
"Some growers work only in that market, so that particular variety makes up 70 per cent of the Queensland crop.
"It's fair to say we've had six weeks of perfect growing conditions, and that's happened not just for us, but also the Sunshine Coast, and production is driven by that."
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